• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/30/2015

    What a fantastic week !!  It is really starting to feel a great deal like spring out there.  The birds are chirping wildly and the squirrels are scampering …

    The South Kitsap High School’s DECA chapter brought two teams to the DECA International Career Development Conference to compete in the Virtual Restaurant World Championships. Both teams earned their way to the semi-finals by winning the Western Region earlier this year. Payton Swinford, who was a one man team, finished in 5th place. Kiera Cline, Nick Matheson and Talia Fazio also reached the final round and finished 7th.  The teams received great coaching and mentoring from Mr. Sean Duttry.

    Olalla Elementary recently used a school landscaping project as a creative learning opportunity for students. Classrooms located on the backside of Olalla Elementary had an unsightly dirt and gravel area as the view from their windows. The lack of landscaping created intense sun glare in classroom windows and also caused students to track in dirt and dust. Several goals of the project were: 1) Create shade to lessen the heat in the classrooms; and 2) Add to student learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities. The plan for the landscaped area is to provide opportunities for students to be involved in the planning of the landscaping (engineering and math), to observe a natural setting for their science studies, and to use the area as a place to write or draw.  On April 22, Earth Day, students, staff, and volunteers worked together planting the area. A community work party was held on April 25 to spread bark around the plantings. A celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 27 in front of the student body, staff members and district administration. The project was completely funded by the Olalla PTA and donations from community members, Morrison Gravel, Lowes, and Home Depot.  What a great example of nurturing growth and building community.  Well done!!

    We have had another fantastic member of our teaching family in the spotlight Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight, Alaura Titus from Cedar Heights .  Thank you for all your efforts to bring language arts and social studies to life for our junior high students.  Well done!!

    The Boundary Review Committee has its final meeting tonight. The purpose of this meeting is to prepare the presentation of its recommendation to the School Board at the May 5, 2015 Board meeting.  They will be selecting spokespersons and identifying key points to be made to the board about each of the components of the recommendation. 

    In planning for the coming year and wanting to be responsive to multiple requests for clarity in the district office organizational chart, I am sharing the district office organizational chart slated for the upcoming year.  We have had several folks take a comprehensive look at the support work we need to provide our schools.  Two different folks independently interviewed all current teaching and learning department and educational services department staff members as to their roles and responsibilities.  Several possible structures for the organizational structure were studied and reviewed.  At the end of the day, the proposed structure best meets the needs of students and staff.  A clear separation between the teaching and learning functions and the school and family support functions has been delineated.  As folks are hired and these positions are filled, I will get back to you with a more complete listing of the roles and responsibilities of each individual in the chart.  For the short term, the grey box below each of the three major areas of the district summarizes at the macro level the requisite accountability of each area.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas you have.

    On the testing front, South Kitsap students have COMPLETED 4066 separate Smarter Balanced summative assessments during the month of April.  Each student grades 3-8 and 11 will complete four Smarter Balanced summative assessments – two each for English Language Arts and Mathematics - by the end of the school year. Students in Grade 10 will complete two Smarter Balanced summative English Language Arts assessments.  Students in grades 5 and 8 will additionally complete a Measurement of Student Progress-Science.  Students in grades 9-12 who have not yet met standard in Biology, Algebra, and Geometry will complete End of Course (EOC) exams in those subjects by the end of the school year.  And the beat goes on…  Thank you all for your conscientious attention to our student needs !!

    Three South Kitsap High School music groups competed last weekend at Central Washington University in multiple areas.  Karl Estes and Ryen Lee received a Superior Rating in the multiple percussion category.  The South Kitsap Percussion Ensemble competed in the large group percussion category and also received a Superior Rating.

    Both these teams performed flawlessly on their pieces proudly representing their school and school district.  Special congratulations go to the Trombone Trio of Kevin Morrison, Cloe Meyers, and Conner Fugier who took FIRST PLACE in the Small Brass Ensemble Division.  They performed two pieces; the first being a work written by Anton Bruckner, the composer of numerous symphonies and large orchestral works.  Their insightful and professional interpretation wowed the adjudicators and audience alike.  Also, hearty congratulations are in order to Mr. Gary Grams, our intrepid SKHS Band Director, for giving so much to these and all his students.  Without his unwavering support and high expectations based on his resolute belief in his students, this level of performance would not be possible. 

    As we begin summer planning (I know it seems too soon to have this conversation), we are beginning the draft of our August Important Dates Calendar.  If you have items of importance, please be sure to check this calendar as we get closer to school starting. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/23/2015

    What another great week !!  Students and staff continue to labor industriously on the State mandated tests.  We will prevail as a result of our hard work. 

    The Boundary Review Committee meets tonight at 6:00pm at John Sedgwick Junior High. The focus of the committee’s work tonight will be to finalize its recommendation to the Board.  We are so grateful to this group of staff and community members for their focused and diligent work. 

    As all of us have been watching our State Legislature as it sets the educational priorities for our State, it is not lost on us that major initiatives hang in the balance.  One of these is all-day kindergarten and rather or not we will be able to cover the costs for all children in all ten schools in the coming school year here in the South Kitsap School District.  In looking at the current proposed Senate and House budget proposals, it appears that all-day kindergarten is slated for almost full funding for our district.  In other words, staff have calculated that if the funding slated comes through, all but two of our ten schools will be fully funded by the State.  The pivot tables (proposed legislative budget impact numbers) have been studied; and as a result, I am confident in recommending to the Board that we move forward and fully fund all schools for all-day kindergarten for the coming 2015-16 academic year.  I believe that while there is some risk in making this decision prior to the final legislative gavel, I think every day we delay this decision, parents in our community are making plans for their children for the coming year and we want them to choose our amazing schools.  Our community families can count on us to be thoughtful in our deliberations and whenever and wherever possible timely in our communication.  We also plan to offer one half day kindergarten session at one site in the district for those families who would prefer to have their kindergartner attend only a half day program as we believe choice is important for today’s families.  We are looking forward to great things for our upcoming Class of 2028!! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

    In other Team Kindergarten news, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card Committee had its first meeting on Monday. The committee is charged with the task of making revisions to the kindergarten report card and also to the kindergarten assessments.  They will be reviewing both the report card and the assessments within the context of the progress being made by all-day kindergarten students, the new ELA proposed adoption, Journeys, and the math curriculum, Envisions in alignment with the recommendations of the Assessment committee.  The next committee meeting is May 4.

    Renata Durst, teacher from Cedar Heights, and Amy Miller, Communication Specialist, accompanied a group of enthusiastic students to We Day at Seattle Center today. We Day is a movement to inspire and empower young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see locally and globally. The event brings together world renowned speakers and performers with international activists to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches. We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn inspiration into sustained action. Visit www.weday.org for more information.  I look forward to more and more students participating in this incredible event.  It is so inspiring to think of moving away from a Me Generation to a We Generation…

    In reviewing the April enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend.  This is making a real difference in our fund balance.   A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 5 (EL 5) and Executive Limitation 6 (EL6) this past week.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. 

    Spots are filling up for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    At our recent Board meeting at Olalla Elementary School, students from several classes demonstrated their STEM prowess.  It is so inspiring to have children as young as second grade explain scientific principles usually taught in the middle grades or later.  Fourth and fifth grade students from Ms. Sherburn’s class described the concepts of potential and kinetic energy and the resultant forces on elastic and inelastic collisions.  Members of the School Board had the tables turned on them as the students asked them questions about the collision concepts and insisted that the Board members answering “Explain their thinking”.  It was a great night and a wonderful presentation of the incredible work going on at Olalla with their implementation of Project Lead the Way.  Kudos to the Olalla staff, and also to Sara Hatfield and our district Career and Technical Department, as well as Derry Lyons and our intrepid IT Department for supporting this innovative project.  Well done. 

    Finally, a staff member recently sent me this thoughtful communication regarding state testing.   In the letter, the teacher touches on some fundamental topics important to all of us as educators.  It also illustrates that every child is more than a test score and every school is more than a test score.  Another provocative topic for PLC discussion.... 

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D. 

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/16/2015

    What another fantastic week in this great community !!  I so appreciate all the focused attention during this challenging state assessment season.  Our staff and student team is to be commended for their resolute dedication to make this state accountability process work.  Thank you. 

    This evening, our school district hosted our first ever Chamber of Commerce After Hours reception for the community.  I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the staff that provided materials and displays, prepared the food and punch, took time from their busy lives to attend and share the great story of this innovative district, and otherwise support this important community partnership.   Thank you.  A special thank you to Amy Miller, District Communications Specialist for coordinating the event. 

    I am proud to announce that Burley Glenwood Elementary and Olalla Elementary were recently recognized by State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Isabel Muñoz-Colón as two of Washington State’s top-performing schools. The Washington Achievement Award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Award winners are the highest performing schools in the state based on three years of academic information reported in the Washington Achievement Index.  Well done. 

    The South Kitsap High School Marching Band https://youtu.be/6ImShZLwwrk had the privilege of marching in the 2015 Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. this past weekend.  Besides being able to march in front of the White House, local and foreign dignitaries, and an audience from around the world they demonstrated an understanding of the sacrifices many have made to our country; especially our veterans.  While touring the memorials around the area they stopped at the Marine Corp Iwo Jima site.  At the site a group of World War II and Korean War vets where also sharing the experience as a part of a program for aging veterans.  The veterans were in their “red coats” and wheel chairs. Without any prompting by adults, one of the band students went up to them to shake their hands and say “thank you for your service”.  The rest followed suit which resulted in a group picture with the aging soldiers, sailors, and marines. The faces on these proud service men showed what was in their hearts, “Young people do care about what we did. They remember us”.  This small act of kindness demonstrated the compassion and caring nature of our South Kitsap students.  This “educational experience” beyond the walls of the classroom changed people’s lives and constitutes one of the highest level of academic rigor.  We are so proud of them !!SK Marching Band 2015 Cherry Blossom Parade DC

    At tonight’s Boundary Committee meeting the committee addressed questions that may have been generated in regard to the committee’s decision to make classroom and program space the number one priority for approving open enrollment requests.  The committee will then work toward finalization of any revisions to the initial recommendation. They are looking specifically at Mullenix Ridge, Orchard Heights, Sidney Glen and Sunnyslope.

    The District Professional Development Committee, chaired by John Sedgwick Principal Jay Villars, has determined that we will offer a Summer Institute August 17th  through the 21st.  Professional Development will be offered to support our various district initiatives. Topics will include but not be limited to STEM, Highly Capable, International Baccalaureate, Assessment, Math, Science and English Language Arts. Currently, we are meeting with committees to collect their requests. We have a  great deal of important work ahead of us. We are excited to be able to offer quality professional development to our staff and assist them in meeting these new challenges.  It matters.  It also enables us to provide high support for the high expectations we hold for teaching and learning in our district.  More information to come on this important topic. 

    Our SKHS Dance Team and the Cedar Heights Dance Team travelled to the American Showcase National Competition in Anaheim, CA. SKHS took first place and the title of National Champions in Varsity Hip Hop, Varsity Pom and Varsity Jazz. The team from Cedar took first place in Junior High Pom. Well done. 

    This week our district was approved to become a WSIPC/Skyward “District Data Center”.  Instead of contracting with the ESD for Skyward support services and training, we will be using those funds to increase the support staff (think more Cindi Robinsons!) and save several thousand dollars per year. With the two additional support staff (one for Student and one for HR/Fiscal), we will be able to provide more frequent training, timely support and faster escalation of issues to WSIPC.  There will be some changes over the summer, and you can keep up to date on the progress at http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/skyward - the DDC Migration section includes some questions and answers along with the schedule of events.  Derry Lyons, Tracy Patterson, and Misty Dieffenbach will be the leads on this transition project. 

    And so, I recently received an interesting article about Finland's change in direction in regards to educating its children. It talks about subjects being scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as the country continues to reform its education system.  Again, I think it is a provocative and reflective article… http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/finland-schools-subjects-are-out-and-topics-are-in-as-country-reforms-its-education-system-10123911.html

    Warmest regards,

     Michelle Reid, Ed.D. 

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/9/2015

    Wow, what a great week.  It is so good to be back in the schools after a week away.  I know that the assessment season is upon us and want to reiterate how much I appreciate how hard all of you are working to make this a successful experience for our students.  Thank you. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Committee meeting the committee received information regarding the Highly Capable Committee’s recommendation which is effective for the 2015-16 school year as well as information regarding the recommendations of the Special Education Location Committee to be implemented following a significant boundary change within the district or following a district grade reconfiguration. The committee also revisited the district’s open enrollment policy and procedures. Finally, the committee will review specific areas of the initial recommendation within the context of feedback received thus far and plans to continue this discussion next week. 

    Recently, East Port Orchard (EPO) Elementary student, Alexis Kuiphoff contacted Star 101.5 radio to nominate her teacher for Teacher of the Week. The radio station surprised Mr. Johnson’s third grade class with a visit today and impromptu classroom party. Ronald McDonald and the Washington Dairy princess accompanied representatives from the Star 101.5 radio and KOMO4 news and presented the class with souvenir t-shirts and goody bags. Mr. Johnson was presented with a recognition plaque and $100 check for his classroom use.  We are so proud of his accomplishments and join in with the staff at East Port Orchard in celebrating this well earned recognition.  Another EPO staff member, librarian Heather Wilson, was recently in the news along with her daughters in a fascinating project that encourages our students to continue to read http://www.kitsapsun.com/lifestyle/books/bookworm-sisters-invite-you-to-follow-the-readers_10220785  . 

    In reviewing the March enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. 

    During the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 9, two outstanding South Kitsap educators were recognized in the first Star Staff Award ceremony. Classified and certificated staff members throughout the school district are nominated by their peers or supervisor based on their work in four categories: Team Work, Innovation, Job Performance, and Student Connection/Engagement. The awards are given quarterly at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and are accompanied by a certificate of recognition and gift cards from Chamber businesses. Carey Ensign, nominated by Mullenix Ridge Elementary School Principal Anita Chandler, received the award for Classified Star Staff Member and Kim Austin-Ellis, nominated by Hidden Creek Principal Laura Smith, received the Certificated Star Staff Award.  Please join me in celebrating their well-deserved recognition.  Kathleen Wilson, a Chamber of Commerce Board member, presented the plaques to our honored staff. 

    The Kitsap Sun also spotlighted two teachers recently.  Romney Beck, from South Kitsap High School http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-romny-beck-south-kitsap-high-school_42447437 and Kim Ness from Orchard Heights http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/teacher-spotlight-kim-ness_43495151

    We are continuing to accept applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    As many of you know, the Highly Capable Task Force recently presented their recommendations for the future of our South Kitsap School District Highly Capable Program.  Following this recommendation, the committee is continuing to work hard to implement the recommendations for the coming year.  After a great deal of careful deliberation, the decision to site the highly capable program has been made and communicated to the staff of the school that will be hosting the program.  Orchard Heights Elementary School is the new home to our Highly Capable Program.  The factors influencing this decision are primarily the available classroom space, expansive square footage of common areas, and the central location for transportation that will support a district magnet program. 

    Finally, at this afternoon’s Innovative Program Task Force meeting, we discussed the topic of school start times.  While it may not seem overly innovative, the amount of sleep that adolescents receive is a factor in adolescent health and capacity to learn.  The start times at the secondary level were the focus of the conversation today and likely will continue as we move forward.  Please feel free to share any thoughts you might have on this topic with members of the Innovative Task Force. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/2/2015

    And so, we are enjoying a restful and renewing spring break.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country!!  I trust that each of you are enjoying a well deserved bit of time away and that each of you have the opportunity for rest and reflection.  

    In our Transportation Department this week, we just finished our Washington State Patrol summer inspection.  Ninety nine buses and thirteen support vehicles were inspected. Only one bus was placed out of service (it has since been repaired and placed back in service).  During the out brief the inspector said for a fleet our size and age that these results were “amazing.” We are so blessed to have such incredible mechanics, shop staff, and transportation staff. Well done!!

    Our Facilities Department staff have been busy as well this week.  There will be many classrooms with new carpet when staff and students return from the holiday week.  Thank you and well done!!

    The legislature continues to work on State budget challenges and commitments made to public education.  We continue to follow this work and expect that the commitments made will be kept.  

    I look forward to seeing each of you as we return following this spring break.  There is yet much to do before our current academic year is done.  

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/26/2015
    Wow, what a great week !!  Unbelievable that it is our last week prior to Spring Break.  I just returned from watching our Lady Wolves Tennis Team fiercely battling Timberline High School.  What a beautiful afternoon for a tennis match !! 

    I know these conference weeks require so much planning and preparation and are so crucial to the family partnerships we forge to support our students; all of them – no exceptions.  Thank you for the extra time and effort each of you provide to make these successful. 

    Our March enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and significantly better than last year.  This continues to be strong and stable sign for us as a district. As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. 

    On the agenda at tonight’s boundary meeting, we will be reviewing the feedback from the two forums and that has been emailed to us.  The committee will also receive information regarding the recommendation from the Highly Capable Committee and on estimated costs of the roll up of the ninth graders to the high school. Within the context of all of this information, the committee will review specific areas of the elementary boundary recommendation. Olalla, Orchard Heights and Sidney Glen are three areas that will be reviewed as well as any other areas that emerged from the feedback.  The committee will then make any revisions they deem appropriate based on the information that was reviewed and finalize the recommendation that will be submitted for further public feedback.

    South Kitsap School District was well represented at the 2015 Kitsap County Youth Rally for Human Rights with 57 students in attendance. The theme was “the heart of the community is …you”   Members of Builders of Unity from the high school,  GSA and Sign choir from the high school and One World Club from Sedgwick and Builders of Unity from Marcus participated and led in this all-day event.  Builders of Unity from the high school led a workshop on stereo typing called “Head Games”  and conducted  the closing ceremonies.

    South Kitsap School District is pleased to announce a partnership with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to recognize Star Staff Members. Each quarter, a certificated and classified staff member will be invited to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the district. Nominations may be submitted STAR STAFF Nomination Form by peers or supervisors. The first recognition will take place at the Chamber Luncheon on April 9 and the deadline for nominations is Friday, March 27, 2015.

    Orchard Heights’ Destination Imagination Team took 3rd place at their competition held at Klahowya Secondary School. Our Destination Imagination team consisted of the following students: Grace Jacobson, Alec Perry, Jaiden Carroll, Jack Bernstein and Zachary Hovland. 6th Grade boys — Shannon Macomber, Alexander Herbst and Daultan Lynam took 5th place. Destination Imagination is led by Mrs. Ann Braunstein. Orchard Heights represented the South Kitsap School District. Students were presented their awards by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer. Congratulations to all!!   

    Mr. Tom O’Loughlin, Marcus Whitman Junior High School teacher, reports that several Marcus Whitman Junior High Quest students placed at the Regional History Day contest at Olympic College on Monday and will compete at the State contest on May 2 at Green River Community College. The History Day theme this year is “Leadership and Legacy in History.”  Six of the eight who advanced haven’t advanced in the contest before. We are proud of all the students who competed. 

    In a history making event at the South Kitsap High School Pool, the Lady Wolves got their first ever water polo win with a 19-7 win over Foss.  Leading the team was Aubrey Lash with 5 goals, the first coming within the first 15 seconds of the game.  Emma Brown scored 3, Kaitlyn Chayer, Natalie Posadas, Danicka Moe and Mackenzie Collopy scored two goals each, Talia Fazio, Lilya Jaeren, and Emmy Hoeiseth all scored one apiece.  It was a great game by all! Congrats, Lady Wolves!   

    We are continuing to accept applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx, Sixteen Trends.   The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    Please enjoy a restful and blessed Spring Break. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/19/2015

    What another great week !!  Concerts, talent shows and dramatic productions are occurring all over the district.  The spring sports season is well under way and March Madness is permeating the country.  What a great time to be in education and supporting our next generation.  And, yes, parent conferences just around the corner…

    We had a very successful Boundary Review Forum Wednesday night at Cedar Heights.  Our final community forum was tonight at John Sedgwick at 6:00pm.  The community members on the committee who presented the recommendation did an awesome job.   The leadership team and staff provided strong support for these challenging conversations.  I am so impressed with the collegial nature of these conversations.  There is no limit to the good we can do when we come together as a community. 

    It is bittersweet that I announce several administrative changes in our district.  Mr. Josh Emmons, our current Assistant Principal at Cedar Heights, has just accepted the position of Principal at Poulsbo Middle School in the North Kitsap School District.  While we are enormously proud of Josh’s accomplishments, we are also sad to see him head north. Mr. Mark Gudger, formerly an administrative intern at Cedar Heights, has accepted the interim Assistant Principal position at Orchard Heights for the remainder of the year.  Please join me in congratulating these two gentlemen as they continue in these new chapters of their careers.  We are better for their service. 

    The Highly Capable Task Force brought their Report and recommendation to the Board this past week.  The thirty seven member team, led by Ms. Kris Christenberry, Marcus Whitman Junior High Assistant Principal,  has spent the last year researching best practice in highly capable programming and has had many robust debates as they came to consensus.  Program delivery model research was reviewed and program survey results collected and discussed. These recommendations will dramatically change the manner in which we serve our elementary highly capable students.  With the advent of new State legislation, these changes were necessary to comply with statutory expectations.  I am proud of the hard work and dedication that members of this committee demonstrated in making the courageous recommendation for program change.  We all know change isn’t easy; yet, I appreciate the thoughtfulness in this work.  We remain resolute in providing the best educational experience for each child – no exceptions.

    Earlier this week, twenty high school students from around Washington State participated in the August Wilson Monologue Competition.  It was an amazing night of young actors performing the words of America’s greatest African American playwright.  Of the twenty students statewide, seven of them were from South Kitsap!!!  From Mr. Scott Yingling; “The opportunity to see our young people on a professional stage, in front of hundreds of people, made me proud to be an educator and even more proud to be from South Kitsap.  It was very entertaining to hear people all night say, ‘Where is Port Orchard?  I thought it was a little farming community!’”  One of our senior’s, Noah Skillman, took 2nd place overall and will be representing our area in New York City in May.  He will have the opportunity to compete against the best and most talented young actors from L.A., Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, and Portland.  It is a three day trip that includes Broadway shows, professional acting workshops, and he will be performing on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre.  We are so proud of all our actors that participated and their hard work.  Here is a list of all that competed; Cannon Jones, Emmilee Lambert, Morgen Bailey, Casey Alvestad, Riley Allen, and Kaylie Brown.  If you see these young people or have them in class, please congratulate them on this huge accomplishment.  Another great example of dedication to the pursuit of excellence on the part of our teachers and students.  GO SK !!

    A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 8 (EL 8) this past week.  Given the budget challenges in recent years, this is a particularly important Executive Limitation for monitoring purposes.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. 

    This past Friday evening, the high school science department held a very successful Science Fair.  These are pictures from the Science Extravaganza.  The South Kitsap High School Science Department estimated that about three hundred people showed up for the event. Students from Astronomy, AP Physics, Honors Biology, Integrated and Marine Science were involved.  It was a fantastic evening and really showcased our incredibly capable  and innovative students.  Thank you to the SKHS Science Department staff for supporting this important work.  It matters. 

    Finally, a staff member recently sent me this provocative article http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/reinventing-high-school/387190/ on an interesting approach to the high school experience.  This illustrates several of the tenets that the Innovative Program Task Force has wrestled with over the past two years. 

     Enjoy a great almost spring week-end,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/12/2015

    Wow, what a great week!!  Although the weather has shifted a bit, it is actually nice to see and feel the soft spring rain…

    As it is Classified Staff Appreciation Week, I want to take a moment and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our classified staff in the school district.  Our School Board celebrated the Governor’s Proclamation at our recent meeting.  We could not meet the educational needs of our children without these important contributions.  “Classified employees are involved in nearly every aspect of education, including maintaining school buildings and grounds, providing secretarial and clerical assistance, preparing and serving meals, providing safe transportation, keeping school facilities clean and orderly, assisting in the classroom, providing a secure learning environment, and many other specialized services.”  Thank you for all you do for South Kitsap School District.  We are a better district for your dedicated efforts.    

    The Boundary Review Committee will meet again tonight from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  The agenda lays out work that will identify the two scenarios that they will present at the public forums on Wednesday, March 18 at Cedar Heights and Thursday, March 19 at John Sedgwick.  The forums are from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.  The committee will identify the members who will be presenting the scenarios at the forum as well as talking points about the scenarios. 

    Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy musical, by composer Alan Menken  and writer Howard Ashman.  The show is about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh.  Our SKHS rendition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwKKQGJefvA will provide some interesting twists to this ‘classic’.  We continue to be so proud of our performing arts students and our fantastic staff, Ms. Debi Emans and Mr. Scott Yingling.  This is the last week-end of the show and it is a must see. 

    I am planning to be in Washington DC on Friday to participate in a Teaching and Learning Conference and speak as part of a National STEM panel “STEM Panel:  The Future of STEM Education"  . The STEM panel is scheduled for Friday, March 13th at 2:30 p.m. Other panelists are:  Russell Shilling, Executive Director of STEM, United States Department of Education, Regina Schofield, Director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach, Battelle, Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director of Science, NASA, Cheryl Refield, Teacher Leader and Gates Foundation Advisory Board member, and Kareen Borders, Director of Professional Learning and Assessment, Olympic Educational Service District 114.  I may have an opportunity to chat with Arne Duncan… ;>)  If you have any comments you want to make sure I include, please do not hesitate to contact me as I want to represent our interests well.  I also know how important this work is to the future of our community and country. 

    I want to share with all staff that based on our enrollment projections and current budget condition, I am not planning to institute a RIF process for staff in the coming year.  While there may be unique program or special circumstances requiring staffing adjustments, it is not my intent to take a RIF resolution to the Board. 

    We  are pleased to announce a partnership with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to recognize Star Staff Members. Each quarter a certificated and classified staff member of the district will be invited to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the district. Nominations may be submitted by peers or supervisors. The first recognition will take place at the Chamber Luncheon on April 9 and the deadline for nominations is Friday, March 27. There is more information available on the district website staff page

    I would like to share the blog link http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/09/05/stem-is-incredibly-valuable-but-if-we-want-the-best-innovators-we-must-teach-the-arts/   which makes the case that while STEM is incredibly valuable, if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts.  Interestingly, this concept seems to make a great deal of sense and adds to the debate on what is a well-rounded education and how best do we make sure that all students have this opportunity – no exceptions.   I plan to include these comments in my remarks on Friday. 

    The Kitsap Sun recently recognized two more fantastic teachers in our district.  The Kitsap Sun recent teacher spotlights are Emily Yellowlees from Orchard Heights and

    Christina Lund from Burley Glenwood.  We are so blessed to have such outstanding staff in the district.  Well done.   

     

    Between now and the end of the school year a variety of field trips are usually planned. Trips may be for academic enhancement, extra-curricular activities, visiting schools for the transition from elementary to junior high and junior high to high school, etc.  Whatever the reason or the distance, I want to take this opportunity to remind all of you to remember the extra planning that it takes to ensure that your students with health conditions are safe on these field trips.  In order to ensure that your students have the proper medication and treatment on the field trip, please be sure to submit the permission slip for the field trip or notify the school nurse at least two weeks prior to the date of the field trip. This will provide plenty of time for the school nurse to ensure that the proper medication and instructions in case of a medical emergency are provided to you and the student so that all have a safe and enjoyable experience. More specific information may be found on the “SKSD Medication Administration  Field Trip Preparation and Skills Check List”  If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse. 

    Finally, I wish each of you a fantastic spring week-end.

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/5/2015
    What a great weather week for the first week of March!!  We are so grateful that we are not under multiple feet of snow…A reminder that Daylight Saving Time 2015 begins Sunday, March 8 – that would be this week-end ;>)  And everyone was just getting used to light during the early morning hours of the day on the way to work ;>)

    As we get closer to spring, it is time to turn our thoughts to spring sports.  Members of the South Kitsap High School Baseball team were invited to the USA Today/King 5 Spring Sports Kickoff.  Coach Logue, Cooper Canton, and Will Gatlin represented South Kitsap baseball while touring King 5 Studios and going through interviews with King 5 Sports Reporter Paul Silvi. Everyone did a fantastic job representing the South Kitsap community and we look forward to a great season. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Review Committee meeting, the committee will be addressing the district’s open enrollment policy, considering a student assignment structure and reviewing, revising and creating boundary scenarios for consideration by the committee.   A discussion of the questions for consideration regarding the district’s open enrollment policy and procedure will also take place.  At its meeting next week, the committee will finalize its choices of at least two, but no more than three boundary scenarios to share at the public forums on March 18 at Cedar Heights and March 19 at John Sedgwick.  These scenarios will also be part of a Thoughtexchange process. 

    This afternoon I had occasion to speak with Ms. Laura Smith, the principal at Hidden Creek Elementary, and asked her to share her experience reading Horton Hatches the Egg with Mrs. Johnson’s second grade class today:  Ms. Smith shared; “As an International Baccalaureate Candidate School, we have worked hard to teach our students about the Learner Profile and what it means to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective.  While reading Horton Hatches the Egg today, the second graders were very quick to tell me that Horton was quite open-minded and a risk-taker for agreeing to sit on the egg; he was nervous about this task but he tried it anyway.  They also pointed out that he was quite a thinker for figuring out how to prop up the tree to hold his weight.  The students all agreed that, most of all, Horton was principled and caring as he never once thought about reneging on his promise to take care of the egg.  For as we know,” an elephant’s faithful 100 percent!” (Dr. Seuss)  It is such a joy to see how our students are learning these traits and are able to identify them in others.”  Well done.

    It is that time of year when we are turning our attention to planning for the 2015-16 school year and finalizing our enrollment projections.  We are doing these early so that we can make any necessary adjustments well in time as we maintain open communication and institutional stability.  This is an important disciplined practice as prior planning does prevent poor performance…  I am including our recent historical demographic enrollment data.  I am also including the enrollment projection worksheet prepared by Ms. Tracy Patterson, our Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations.  As you might recall, we have at times overshot and at other times undershot our enrollment projections and both scenarios have negative consequences.   At this time, we are planning to budget on an annual average FTE (AAFTE) of  8940, understanding that we are looking at an average actual head count of likely 9559 students.  As you are out in the community, and know this community better than I do; I would be interested in your thoughts as to rather or not you see more movement into the district v. movement out of the district.  We know there are a number of new homes being both planned and built; but, you never know how many children might occupy them.  As you know, this is a critical decision we must make, as the enrollment becomes the revenue driver upon which our budget and staffing is based.  Thank you for your assistance with this, I really appreciate it. 

    Judging for Olympic ESD 114's 2015 Regional High School Art Show has recently been completed and South Kitsap High School has three winners!  Claudia Rocha’s "Breathe" has been judged as a Regional Winner and will advance to the state-level Superintendent’s High School Art Show at Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Claudia’s piece has also been chosen by Central Washington University to receive a $1000.00 Scholarship Award.  Riley Williams’ "House Alone" has been judged as a Regional Winner and will advance to the state-level Superintendent’s High School Art Show at Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).  Caitlyn Williams’ “Hint of Blue” has been voted “People’s Choice”. Caitlyn will receive a $200.00 purchase award and her piece will be added to Olympic ESD 114’s High School Art Gallery. Please feel free to congratulate Claudia, Riley and Caitlyn, as well as their instructors, Ms. Cathy Duttry, and Mr. Donald Sandmann, on their achievements!

    Interestingly, as I was visiting the high school this morning, I had occasion to stop in to one of our classrooms in the world language department.  Ms. Noriko F. Gonzales, a Japanese language teacher at the high school, was working with her first year Japanese students.  The Pacific Rim languages are new to our district this year and I am thrilled with the progress our students are making.  Ms. Gonzales shared student work samples with me.  I find this level of understanding in the first year amazing !!  Well done. 

    The South Kitsap High School NJROTC Wolf Battalion won last Saturday's drill meet at Curtis High School in Tacoma and earned a second place finish in the Narrow's Division of the JROTC Northwest Drill & Rifle Conference.  The Wolf Battalion Academic and Precision Marksmanship teams took first place, the Strength and Sporter Marksmanship teams finished second and the Unarmed and Armed Drill Teams finished third. South Kitsap also won the Dual Unarmed Exhibition Drill contest.  Well done.

    Finally, a staff member recently shared this http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc video on motivation with me.  It is another remarkably provocative idea that is timely in so many discussions prevalent today.  Dan Pink's lecture outlines his ideas about the surprising truth about what motivates us and illustrates what he believes to be the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.  I would be interested in your thoughts on this topic.

    Warmest regards,       Spring Forward

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Susan Southard at 2/26/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another great week here in the Pacific Northwest!!  It is hard to believe that we are approaching the first week of March.  It has often been said that the days are long but the years are short…  As I get older, I find this to be more and more true. 

    Last week, while I was doing a site visit at Olalla Elementary School, I had occasion to visit Stephanie Darragh’s second grade class.  Her second grade students were hard at work in their efforts to balance pencils on their tips. To accomplish this, they applied what they had learned about strategic placement of counterweights and balance points in order to accomplish this balancing feat using wire and clothespins. To say they were eager to meet this challenge would be an understatement! The cheers of "I did it!" rippling through the classroom were wonderful to hear.  I find it so inspiring that our second graders in this STEM program were contemplating scientific ‘big ideas’ that challenge scientists in the field.  Our future is in good hands.  Well done.

    Tonight’s Boundary Review Committee will be a busy one.  On the agenda, there will be a list of the eight draft boundary scenarios that have been presented thus far. The committee will be making recommendations regarding the open enrollment policy and procedure; whether or not to recommend a student assignment structure as it applies to boundaries; whether or not to consider grade configuration as part of their boundary recommendation, and if so, what grade configuration; and which, if any, of the draft boundary scenarios to eliminate.  Once these recommendations have been made, the committee will review and analyze the remaining scenarios within the context of maintaining them as they are; revising them, combining them, and/or creating new scenarios.  Based on the work accomplished this evening, the committee will determine if they will be ready to go on March 11 and 12 for the public forums or if they will need to reschedule them for one week later.  More to come on this important topic. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the January financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  I need to mention that this coming month we will be making our levy committed transfer to the capital fund from the general fund so that we can address the roofs and other capital projects scheduled for this summer.  At this time, our plan is to replace the roofs at Burley Glenwood, Hidden Creek, and Mullenix Ridge this summer.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be continuing to evaluate additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our February enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year, in fact better than the last several years.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    Recently, I have received several questions about the progress of various committees that have been meeting this year.  I want to remind each of you that there are multiple groups working collaboratively on topics ranging from strategic planning, assessment, professional development, innovative programs, the highly capable program, and curriculum topics.  The District Committee webpage is a resource for information on these topics.  As the school year progresses, the committees are getting close to making their recommendations.  One of the committees, the Highly Capable Program Task Force, is slated to make their recommendation to me on March 5.  Kris Christenberry, Assistant Principal at Marcus Whitman Junior High, has done an exemplary job in leading this Task Force of approximately thirty people.  I look forward to the recommendation and the discussion with the Task Force.  Answering the call to serve on these district committees is so appreciated by all of us.  At a time when we are all so busy, I want to express my gratitude to those willing to shoulder this challenging work so integral to our success as a district.  Our students are better for your efforts. 

    Finally, I received this from a staff member today.  This is a great girl / young woman engineering project for wearable technology from Pomona, CA. Happy Girl Day for Engineering Week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvWt7PKD4E&feature=youtu.be  I am so excited that we as a district are poised to have our young people successfully compete in this evolving world.  Innovative thinking and programming are at the heart of robust instructional experiences for our students. 

    Enjoy the last days of February.

    Warmest regards,

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